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Old 16th April 2007, 20:20   #1
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Question Why only Automatic cars in America?

I don't understand why a whole nation only drives automatic cars!
Except USA/Canada probably no other country drives only automatics.
What is the reason for it? Why the Europeans are not such automatic crazy?

Most of the time I hear following arguments

1. Americans are lazy (no offence meant) and wants to eat burger while driving
2. Fuel is so cheap there people don't bother about about economy
3. Twisted Europeans roads are not good for automatics (how?)

Any thought?
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Old 16th April 2007, 20:52   #2
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They drive autos because it's conmfy and most of junta would prefer the car to drive itself :-).

Last edited by aah78 : 16th April 2007 at 23:46. Reason: referenced post deleted
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Old 16th April 2007, 20:56   #3
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@sbasak: What you say is absulutely correct. I have witnessed this personally here in the US.

1. People generally like to drive with one hand only with the other used for holding a burger or a cellphone. The car is a place for more than just driving here.

2. Fuel is darn cheap and you never ever feel the pinch of losing money on running an automatic. So "economy" never comes into the picture.

I personally prefer a manual transmission after driving all these years in India but had to go in for an automatic here for pure resale value.
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Old 16th April 2007, 21:18   #4
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If u see test drives from America u will find that the FE in autoboxes is more than those in Manual.. I guess its here in India and other places where we have bumper to bumper traffic at all given times is where the fuel cost and bad economy comes into play...
Also if u dont really have a sports car I dont see the use of a manual box.. Most americans are not interested in driving a family sedan in power mode..
Cheerssssss
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Old 16th April 2007, 21:56   #5
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IMHO : For most Americans a car isnt an occasion. Something to savour and enjoy. Its just a tool, an alternative to a horse, or walking. So the more convenience it offers, the better it is. Who would want..say.. a drill that had 20 different settings for each twist?
Secondly, they are quite lazy me thinks. I dont know if most of them even KNOW how to drive a manual car. However, cosidering their big lazy engines coupled with lazy automatics driven by even lazier people since the past 50 years or so, I wonder how much oil they would have saved by driving..driving reasonably sized cars with stick shifts than land yatchs with truck engines and autos.
Also, I think due to their inherently large engines, they dont feel the autos sapping as much power from the engine as they would, from say...a 1L car.

Ps : Wanted to see a thread like this for a long time now.

Last edited by sajo : 16th April 2007 at 21:59. Reason: Added a bit.
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Old 16th April 2007, 22:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rr_zen View Post
@sbasak: What you say is absulutely correct. I have witnessed this personally here in the US.
1. People generally like to drive with one hand only with the other used for holding a burger or a cellphone. The car is a place for more than just driving here.

Automatics were around and quite popular well before each one had a cell ... sure burgurs were there ... but what i'm trying to say is that people don't buy autos so one hand can be free .... since they have autos they can afford to indulge in eating a burgur or two while on the road.

Quote:
2. Fuel is darn cheap and you never ever feel the pinch of losing money on running an automatic. So "economy" never comes into the picture.
Correct ... You have to admit ... autos are damn convenient ... even though the Americans are now more FE conscious (see decline in SUV sales) than before due to obv. reasons , getting a couple of mpg extra from a manual will not change the trend ... Autos are becoming smarter by the day , all the more reason to continue the good ol' American trend .... what's the harm in any case ???

Quote:
I personally prefer a manual transmission after driving all these years in India but had to go in for an automatic here for pure resale value.
I think most of us here in India would ... but it's not that an auto can't be fun ... esp if the trend is 140 bhp + good roads + cheap fuel(comparitively)

Last edited by aah78 : 16th April 2007 at 23:47. Reason: editing quote
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Old 16th April 2007, 23:18   #7
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i think its the price of the auto transmission, the diff in price of an auto to a manual is not much in US as comapred to in India.
In india everyone would definately buy an auto transmission if it wasn't so expensive as compared to a manual of the same model.
e.g if the price diff was 5 to 10,000 Rs who would buy a manual ? except Tbhpians like us..
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Old 16th April 2007, 23:36   #8
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Auto's give 10-20% lower FE. So Auto's will bomb here. For Americans fuel cost has started to hit only now.
Secondly when you have such large scale production, price difference is not much between auto and non auto, so there you go.
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Old 16th April 2007, 23:41   #9
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let me play devil's advocate here.

why would somebody prefer manual over automatic? apart from racing, drifting, burning out and so on, which are only to be performed on a race track?

keeping in mind that it gives you around 97-99% of the fuel economy and acceleration of what manual offers.
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Old 16th April 2007, 23:44   #10
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its mainly because of the power used say not all cars are automatic say only the powerful ones are the older gto's are auto because its easier to drive.

then the ford trucks say f150 and so one are also autos the car has not that good handling they are easier to handle during conditions like rain they will just veer of the road.

they have instead braking like front wheel brakes,then abs 4 wheel brake and accelerator.

Last edited by pawan : 16th April 2007 at 23:48.
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Old 16th April 2007, 23:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Auto's give 10-20% lower FE. So Auto's will bomb here. For Americans fuel cost has started to hit only now.
but desn't mean they will start buying manual transmissions, they may buy more FE vehicles with smaller engines or hybrids but I dont think they will start learning how to use stickshift.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Secondly when you have such large scale production, price difference is not much between auto and non auto, so there you go.
then my next question is "do you see any large scale production of auto boxes in india ?"
Answer is No , so the price will definately be high between and auto and a manual in india and thats what we see now.

and do you see any large scale production of auto boxes in India in the future also ?

Last edited by chetanhanda : 16th April 2007 at 23:54.
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Old 16th April 2007, 23:55   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Auto's give 10-20% lower FE.

really?
Search by Class for Fuel Efficient Cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Secondly when you have such large scale production, price difference is not much between auto and non auto, so there you go.
actually, As far as I know, MT are rather scarce (costly in turn) in US, may be because of lack of popularity and mass production.

EDIT: Taking used car market into account. ATs are much cheaper

Last edited by Dippy : 7th July 2010 at 22:08. Reason: Back to back posts
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Old 17th April 2007, 00:03   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawan View Post
they have instead braking like front wheel brakes,then abs 4 wheel brake and accelerator.
ok so auto have front wheel brakes then 4 wheel and then an accelerator?
and what about the accelerator ?
couldn't get what you meant ?
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Old 17th April 2007, 00:09   #14
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Wow.. there are some very stereotypical comments in this thread that seem a little insensitive but I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

There are many contributing factors to why Automatics are more popular than Stick shifts.

1. Fuel Cost - Cheaper - Cost differential between ATX / MTX not that much due to quality / ECU mapping.

2. Engine Size - Not only American cars but virtually all manufacturers

3. Average commute distance and Average commute variance -
(Average one-way commute time of 26 minutes - over an average distance of 16 miles). But the variance is huge: On the best days, the average commute is 19 minutes; on the worst days, 46 minutes.)

4. Nature of roads - Mostly Highway driving on flat surfaces where tremendous amounts of up-shift down shift are not required.

5. Manual vs. Auto cost differential - $1000 appx.

6. Evolution of Automatics - Tiptronic / paddle / smg. etc.

7. Driver Age - its easier for a beginner who is 16 year old to drive auto vs. manual.

8. Driving comfort. - No burgers or cellphones. Most cars come with bluetooth and not all commuters are McDonald groupies. When you work 6 to 9, the last thing you want to worry about is upshifting / down shifting in Manhattan traffic.

As a personal example - we have a Lexus GX470 - 4.7Litre V8 - TM will never offer a MTX with that engine and even if they did, I would never want to drive it one. its too big and its going to be more painful for me to shift trying to manage all that grunt. On the other hand I have a Mazda 6i - 2.4L 4cyl with MTX which is a blast to drive because it is nimble and the power bands are manageable.

So to sum it up - MTXs don't belong in SUVS, Pickups, Large Family sedans but do belong in sports cars, econoboxes and some mid size cars.
(And if you did a breakdown -you'd be surprised to see how many fall in the latter category).

P.S. Why in India do we have so many drivers / chaufers? Is it because we are too lazy to drive at all and want to eat 'Moomfalli' in the back seat?
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Old 17th April 2007, 00:10   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chetanhanda View Post
ok so auto have front wheel brakes then 4 wheel and then an accelerator?
and what about the accelerator ?
couldn't get what you meant ?
what i meant was the pedals that are there on the auto cars.from left to right front two wheels brakes,four wheel brakes then accelerator.
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